You Can NEVER Do This Before An Important Competition

I was at an expo for my second ever marathon. I tried to get in and out of these expos very fast and off of my legs. However, I came across (and bought) these super lightweight sunglasses. They were sweet! The glasses that I had been training with were heavier, so I decided to run with these new ones during the marathon tomorrow.

I mean how different could sunglasses actually be?

Well about two miles into the 26.2-mile race, my brand new super awesome, lightweight sunglasses began to fog up. I tried everything I could, but they were completely useless most of the day. I had to put them on top of my head, but hey I did get to put them back on for the finishing pictures, so at least the cool factor was there (like that matters).

It’s sad to see too many athletes at all levels simply not have a solid, bulletproof routine, which unfortunately allows more variables (like mood) to affect their performance before an important competition. 

Professional actors have dress rehearsals for all-important competitions, so practice your routine. Advising that you don’t change anything on race day requires that we train how we are going to perform. We perform like we train!

A pre-performance routine means that you have set up the actions that you like to do before your performance. But, the physical actions are the easy part! There is no one size fits all for pre-performance routines.
Download 7 Awesome Ways to Crush Your Routine

The perfect routine is one that gets you mentally prepared and physically dialed-in for your performance. Staying calm and relaxed before any important competition is the goal. 

“The goal is to be physically loose and mentally tight”- Arthur Ashe

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness


Athletes Need A Better Performance Routines…

Almost everything we do contains a routine… How we wake up in the morning, go to work, eat our food, and even shave.  We have become so routine that we are not even aware of it, hence routine. We implement these daily routines because they make us comfortable and allow us to tune-in our focus.

However, we do recognize when we get out of our performance routines because we begin to think more and may even become anxious or nervous.

These daily routines don’t really matter too much though unless we are OCD. Although, they make ALL the difference in our performance. Performances could go wrong and routines make us comfortable during these pressure situations. Presentations, Surgery, Try-outs, Auditions, Competitions, Sales, Golfing, Free-throws, Bowling, Darts, Race-car driving to rattle off a few.

Here’s 7 Awesome Ways to Crush Your Pre-Performance Routine

Unbelievably though, our performance routines have not become routine. We practice the skill way more than the execution of the routine. This is why under pressure, we don’t focus on the right things, become anxious, get nervous, or choke. Our performance routines have not become routine. There are a lot of variables in our performance, and since our routines are 100% under our control, the main variable is YOU! Routines need to be perfect in all areas of our performance.

Our research in Applied Sport Psychology showed that routines need to be individualized. The timing doesn’t matter much with an individual routine, what matters is the behaviors, the patterns, and how deliberate someone is. If people varied from their actions, performance would decline.

Here is a PERFECT Performance Routine by Jason Calliste of Oregon basketball. During two rounds of the NCAA tournament, he only shot 22/23 from the free-throw line…

performance routines 




Dr. Rob BellDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness.